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Comment Re:Yawn (Score 2) 372

plainly opposite in many cases if they are trying to stop social improvements like immigration reform

This is a subjective statement. One person may consider a particular immigration reform position as representing social improvement, while another may view the position as damaging to the same society.

Comment Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (Score 1) 82

NGA is the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (alternate Wikipedia source: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency). It should be noted that while NGA and Google both supplied funding for the satellite, NGA's contribution was approximately USD $248M, while Google's portion of the funding was remitted through GeoEye (which was later purchased by DigitalGlobe in 2013) under a contract for which the terms have not been publicly disclosed. While the exact amount of Google-supplied capital is unknown, it may be safely assumed to be a considerable percentage of the balance of the project cost and thereby a de facto partial ownership arrangement, given the obvious market benefits afforded to Google through the deal (see also "GeoEye Reports Record 2009 Third Quarter Results" for interesting numbers). In a more fiscally transparent demonstration of the company's high interest in this field, Google entered into an agreement to purchase Skybox Imaging outright for USD $500M on June 10, 2014.

It should also be noted that Google acquired exclusive rights to GeoEye-1 imaging data for online mapping purposes, which is not equivalent to a broader exclusive general purpose license. Other companies would have been free to contract with GeoEye for non-online-mapping use of the data. The arrangement has invited questions from some parties concerning the enforceability of copyright claims on the data, as it is produced with 50% funding from the United States federal government. While it is understood that down-sampled (50 cm resolution) images are provided directly to Google and other companies partially at taxpayer expense, it is important to understand the applicability of exceptions in law to copyright terms on work produced by or supported by the U.S. government.

Comment Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (Score 4, Informative) 82

GeoEye and DigitalGlobe merged in January of 2013. From launch to the present day, Google has maintained exclusive online mapping rights to the data produced by the GeoEye-1 satellite, often referred to as Google-1. The Google logo was on the Delta II rocket that put the satellite into orbit. While NGA and Google collaborated to provide funding in the amount of approximately USD $500M for the satellite and launch, it's a bit disingenuous to say Google shouldn't have been considered an owner.

Comment Re:Why are these numbers stored? (Score 1) 117

PCI/DSS isn't simply about being able to claim nebulous adherence to "best practices"; it's about an organization's ability to maintain a business relationship with their customers and an upstream merchant account provider under certain agreed upon minimum standards for data security. Quoting PCI Data Storage Do’s and Don’ts:

Do not store sensitive authentication data contained in the payment card’s storage chip or full magnetic stripe, including the printed 3-4 digit card validation code on the front or back of the payment card after authorization.

This point in particular is not flexible in nature. Storing that specific information, or failing to take specific steps to secure the access perimeter and specific systems through which said information traverses, are quick routes to termination of a merchant agreement. Such failures may also expose a business to significant legal liability; litigation rapidly becomes impressively expensive in the event of a breach whereby it comes to light that the business in question failed to follow basic PCI/DSS tenets, and said legal proceedings may turn into an even greater circus if dominant upstream EFT players such as Visa, etc believe there is reason to assume negligence on the part of an auditing firm that supposedly delivered a satisfactory report on compliance to the errant business. Reference the recent Target debacle for a fine example of such complications.

There are no magic bullets, but there are baselines. Those baselines could certainly use significant improvement, but that doesn't matter much if the business servicing the consumer doesn't care to consider even basic adherence to agreed upon information security standards as a critical factor.

Comment Re:War of government against people? (Score 1) 875

Don't forget the problem of keeping guns from getting back into the population at any given time. This goes back to the same issue you first spoke to: criminals will still obtain guns, and those who respect the law of the land won't. Essentially, I put this whole discussion into much the same frame as the "war on drugs," meaning things can't be uninvented and attempts to overly regulate many of them may result in more net harm than good.

Comment Re:War of government against people? (Score 1) 875

There are many variables you haven't accounted for. Quoting from Crime in the United States:

In 2011, the state with the lowest violent crime rate was Maine, with a rate of 123.2 per 100,000 residents, while the state with the highest violent crime rate was Tennessee, with a rate of 608.2 per 100,000. However, the District of Columbia, the U.S. capital district, had a violent crime rate of 1,202.1 per 100,000 in 2011.

D.C. has a long history of highly restrictive gun laws. Why then does D.C. have double the violent crime rate of Tennessee, and one hundred times that of Maine? It's also worth noting that Maine has very few restrictions on gun ownership. See how this works?

Comment Re:The "lettuce bot" is mostly a vision system (Score 1) 36

[sideband attempt 1 at obtaining a reply] I'm perfectly willing to burn the karma expended from potential "off topic" moderation of this comment to ask you the following question, which is likely to be considered highly "interesting" by anyone interesting in safeguarding privacy: Why haven't you replied to my last question [regarding TrueCrypt and the value of signing keys]?

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